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Opinion | Believe victims even if you don’t like them
Opinion | Believe victims even if you don’t like them
By Delaney Rauscher Adams, Staff Columnist • July 12, 2024
Opinion | Women pop stars and the pressure to evolve
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 10, 2024

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Opinion | Believe victims even if you don’t like them
Opinion | Believe victims even if you don’t like them
By Delaney Rauscher Adams, Staff Columnist • July 12, 2024
Opinion | Women pop stars and the pressure to evolve
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • July 10, 2024

Opinion | You don’t need to party in college to have a good time

Opinion+%7C+You+don%E2%80%99t+need+to+party+in+college+to+have+a+good+time
Annika Esseku | Senior Staff Illustrator

Throughout middle school and high school, I always dreamed of going to college — getting away and doing whatever I wanted. While I certainly had friends and made the most of my time during my days back home in Illinois, I was excited for my chapter as a college student. I was looking forward to the parties, the boys and the freedom that being in university brought. I wanted my college experience to be that of a movie — you know the ones.

The movies that have scenes with red Solo cups littered across the ground of an old beat-up frat house. The films where best friends hook up with some of the worst men imaginable. The ones where classes are an afterthought, and you live to get drunk at a party while playing beer pong with the hot guy across the hall.

That was what I thought I wanted. That is until I got to college, where I realized that none of that is what I really desired. I thought I had to live my college days in some predestined, “stereotypical” way or else I wouldn’t have a fulfilling time. There is nothing wrong with spending your time in college like that — many do. But just like it is okay to party and get drunk on the neighboring frat’s mysterious jungle juice, it is okay to have little interest. It is okay to not want that at all, actually.

The best piece of advice I can give any incoming freshman is this — do whatever you want. Saying no is always an option.

Whether it is implicit or explicit, you will face pressure in college to do things you don’t necessarily want to do. Sometimes it’s verbal peer pressure from a roommate or friend who “needs you to go out with them.” Other times it is pressure from yourself and the internalized fear of missing out on a good time. You need to learn to leave the FOMO behind — learn that you can do whatever it is you want to do. While there are certainly events or situations you must attend — cough, cough, mandatory freshman commencement — most of the time you can say no. And with this, you need to find friends who respect your decisions and won’t give you any problems if you don’t want to go out with them.

For me personally, my ideal weekend night consists of hanging out with my friends in my apartment. You’ll find us sitting across our drink-stained rug playing UNO or crowded together on the couch playing Jackbox games, poking fun at one another. My roommate and I insist that Jason Derulo and Taylor Swift’s entire discography is played before we let anybody else change the music. At the end of the night, my friends and I discuss the nitty-gritty details of our relationships, rehash old gossip and debate the morality of different issues. If it has been a particularly long week, I usually just want to lay in bed, snuggled under copious amounts of blankets, watching a movie I’ve seen a thousand times before.

I have been out a handful of times, but nine times out of 10, nothing sounds worse than a sweaty, smelly frat party that is over a 30-minute walk away. For most of my friends, this weekend activity also falls short of appealing, but we have our own fun — even though you don’t see anybody making a movie about our college experience. Most people’s lives aren’t made into a movie. It certainly doesn’t mean your life isn’t fun or interesting just because you step outside of the usual expectations.

Not everyone’s college experience has to be or must be that of a “typical college experience.” In fact, there’s no such thing as a typical college experience. Media likes to portray university students as avid partiers, promoters of hookup culture and apathetic to their grade-point average. While there are those that boast these characteristics, there are even more who do not. Not everyone wants to go out on a Saturday night, and not everyone skips class to attend a party. Many are so focused on making the most of their time at college that it’s easy to forget what it is one actually wants to do. While I mostly have discussed the college party scene, all this advice also applies to other areas of life and your time in college.

You have to find people who support you and respect the choices you make for yourself. There is no need to do anything you really don’t want to do — except for classes, of course. Make your own path through school finding the activities you enjoy and spending time with those who make you feel good. Whether that’s at a party or on the couch in your apartment, it doesn’t matter. There is no typical college experience, so do whatever it is you want.

Livia LaMarca is the Assistant Editor on the Opinions desk who misses using the oxford comma. She mostly writes about American political discourse, US pop culture, and social movements. Write to her at [email protected] to share your own opinions!

About the Contributor
Livia LaMarca
Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor
Livia LaMarca is a senior political science and sociology student from outside of Chicago. You can often find her studying for the LSAT and drinking copious amounts of coffee. Her hobbies include singing, crocheting & knitting, Marvel movies, and hanging with her dog Leo (who she misses very much). She enjoys writing about American political discourse and U.S. pop culture with a particular passion for social justice and equitable social programs. Livia's email —  — is always open if you'd like to share your own opinions or respond to an opinion column of hers.